Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
Today the avalanche danger is LOW at all elevations. Pay attention to changing conditions with incoming weather. There is potential for small wind slabs in the Alpine if winds increase today. Triggering loose snow avalanches (sluffs) remains possible in steep terrain.
PORTAGE VALLEY, SUMMIT LAKE, LOST LAKE: Areas east and south of Turnagain Pass saw an increase in wind on Thursday and Friday and could see another uptick in wind again today. Small to large wind slab avalanches may be possible to find and trigger in the Alpine. Extra Caution is advised in these periphery areas.
UPDATE 12:00 pm, January 27th. There is 10″ of light new snow in the Turnagain Pass parking lot. More snow has fallen than expected with the forecast this morning and winds are gusting into the 30s on Sunburst. The avalanche danger has increased to MODERATE at all elevations. Human triggered avalanches are possible. Watch for new wind slabs in the Alpine and soft storm slabs at lower elevations.
Alaskans! Help us reach $20,000 in 2020 for Chugach Avy’s 20th anniversary next winter. Pick.Click.Give. some or all of your PFD to Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Info Center. Your donation pre-pays your annual membership AND guarantees good snow karma for winter 2020/21. Thanks, Friends! Pick.Click.Give. link: for Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.
|Signal Word||Size (D scale)||Simple Descriptor|
|Small||1||Unlikely to bury a person|
|Large||2||Can bury a person|
|Very Large||3||Can destroy a house|
|Historic||4 & 5||Can destroy part or all of a village|
Despite chilly temperatures over the weekend folks took advantage of the sunshine, soft snow and good stability. A few loose snow avalanches (sluffs) were reported in steep terrain and one observer noted their group kicking off very small, soft wind slabs yesterday in the Pastoral zone. Loose snow avalanches in steep terrain will continue to be the predominant hazard to manage today. However, it is important to note that it is a day of transition as the weather pattern over the region shifts. A few inches of snow is forecast to fall and the winds might pick up a bit from the east/northeast. If you are out today watch for changing conditions. There is plenty of soft snow available to transport and the new snow today will be low density. If winds are strong enough small wind slabs may develop in steep Alpine terrain. It also worth remembering that there is weak snow on the surface and in the upper snowpack as a series of storms impact the region this week. As temperatures warm, snow falls and winds increase burying the weak snow, the recipe for larger avalanches may develop in the days to come.
Wind Slabs: In addition to the potential for small wind slabs developing today in the core forecast area, the wind effect from last Thursday and Friday is more pronounced in Portage, Summit Lake and Seward. Today’s wind may also be more of an issue in these zones as well. If you a heading to any of these places be on the lookout for blowing snow and stiff snow in the Alpine. Stiff snow over soft snow can be an indication of wind slab issues. Watch for cracking or hollow feeling snow.
Cornices and Glide Cracks: As always, limit exposure under glide cracks and give cornices a wide margin.
Yesterday: Skies were mostly clear until clouds slowly moved in later in the day. With the area inversion temperatures were in the single digits to just below zero F at upper elevations and were in the negative teens to negative 20Fs in the valleys. Winds were light and variable. Overnight temperatures increased slightly in the Alpine while valley bottoms remain below zero. Winds were light and northeasterly.
Today: Skies will be cloudy with light snow in the forecast today and tonight. Expected total accumulations by tomorrow morning of 4-8″. Winds will be easterly 5-10 mph with gusts into the teens. Temperatures will slowly rise into the single digits and low teens.
Tomorrow: Light snow continues tomorrow with a more significant pulse expected overnight into Wednesday. The timing and total amounts of snow are still a bit uncertain. Temperatures will be in the high teens to mid 20Fs and winds will be moderate and easterly.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||-7||0||0||42|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||-12||0||0||17|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||-6||0||0||40|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||-4||NE||2||17|
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
Status of riding areas across the Chugach NF is managed by the Glacier and Seward Ranger Districts, not avalanche center staff. Riding area information is posted as a public service to our users and updated based on snow depth and snow density to prevent resource damage at trailhead locations. Riding area questions contact: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area. This advisory does not apply to highways, railroads or operating ski areas.